Horse heritage icons to be unveiled

Henry Osiecki (left) and Peel Tribe with the Cobb and Co wagon icon and (above) the steel motif representing the Warwick Rodeo.

By Jeremy Sollars

A new sculpture celebrating Warwick’s horse heritage in Queens Park right next to the highway and alongside Alice Street will be officially handed over to the community on Saturday 22 June.

As reported in the Free Times in March the steel sculpture depicting the whole range of equine themes was the brainchild of the late John Simpson, a former manual arts teacher at The Scots PGC College.

John raised around $190,000 to fund the project, the majority of it coming from private individuals and local businesses, with his dream being to catch the eye of the visitor driving into Warwick along its northern gateway.

Working closely on the project with John over many years has been Warwick-based nutritional biochemist Henry Osiecki, who along with John’s family has been committed to seeing his good friend’s legacy come to fruition.

The icons which will form the sculpture have been made at Peel Tribe’s Condamine Fabrications and depict horse themes including Cobb and Co’s wagons, heavy horses, polocrosse, campdrafting, thoroughbred racing, rodeo, dressage, pony club, show jumping and the World War One Light Horse.

John’s daughter Fiona Simpson told the Free Times the Handing Over Ceremony will commence at 11am on the 22nd and will include free entertainment, with the whole community invited.

“Lions and Rotary Sunrise will be cooking up a free barbecue, there will be horses representing some of the icons – racehorse, eventing and showjumping, 11th Light Horse troop, Clydesdales dressed for work – along with The Scots PGC College Pipe Band and a local Indigenous Choir,” Fiona said.

“And an event like this wouldn’t be right without a call to order from the Southern Downs Town Crier Bob Townshend.

“The event will kick off at 11am, with official business starting at 11.30, hosted by the Warwick Chamber of Commerce president Julia Keogh alongside Mayor Tracy Dobie, council CEO David Keenan and councillors.”

John Simpson passed away earlier this year while the icons were being worked on by Peel Tribe, leaving behind his wife Mavis and their three adult children Tanya, Fiona and Matthew.

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